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History of Kit Kat Bars

Kit Kat Bars are a popular chocolate-covered wafer candy enjoyed by people all over the world. The history of Kit Kat Bars can be traced back to 1911 when a confectioner named Joseph Rowntree of Rowntree’s in York, England, registered the product names Kit Kat and Kit Cat. The names were originally used for a type of mutton pie that was eaten by a group called “The Kit-Cat Club.”

Originally known by Londoners as “Rowntree’s Chocolate Crisp,” the candy was renamed in 1937 to “Kit Kat Chocolate Crisp.” The candy got its start across the pond in 1935 and has since become a global confection. The Hershey Company has produced the candy in the U.S. since 1970, and today, Kit Kat Bars come in a variety of new and seasonal flavors to keep candy fans satisfied.

Kit Kat Bars have an interesting history that dates back over a century. From its humble beginnings as a mutton pie to becoming one of the most beloved candy bars in the world, the Kit Kat Bar has come a long way. In the following sections, you will learn more about the history of Kit Kat Bars, how they are made, and the different flavors available.

Origins and Development

Invention and Founders

Kit Kat bars were invented by Rowntree’s, a confectionery company located in York, England. The company was founded by Henry Isaac Rowntree in 1862. The idea for the Kit Kat bar was developed by Rowntree’s sales representative, George Harris, who was inspired by a type of mutton pie that was eaten by a group called “The Kit-Cat Club.” The Kit-Cat Club was a popular political meeting club that was active in 1700s London.

Early Production

The first Kit Kat bars were produced in 1935, and they were originally known as “Rowntree’s Chocolate Crisp.” The candy was renamed in 1937 to “Kit Kat Chocolate Crisp.” The candy was initially only produced in the United Kingdom, but it quickly became popular throughout Europe.

Name and Branding

The name “Kit Kat” was chosen because it was easy to pronounce and memorable. The candy was originally sold in a red wrapper with the name “Kit Kat” written in bold white letters. The design of the wrapper has changed over the years, but the red and white color scheme has remained consistent.

In the 1970s, Rowntree’s entered into an agreement with Hershey’s to produce Kit Kat bars in the United States. Hershey’s has been producing Kit Kat bars in the U.S. ever since. Today, Kit Kat bars are sold in over 80 countries around the world, and they come in a variety of flavors and sizes.

Global Expansion

Entry into International Markets

Kit Kat bars were initially sold only in the United Kingdom, but the brand’s popularity soon led to its expansion into international markets. In 1949, Kit Kat bars were introduced in Canada, and by the 1950s, they were available in several European countries, including Germany, Switzerland, and France.

The brand’s popularity continued to grow, and Kit Kat bars were eventually introduced in Japan in 1973. The Japanese market quickly became one of the most important for the brand, with unique flavors and marketing campaigns tailored to the local market.

Manufacturing Abroad

As Kit Kat bars continued to gain popularity around the world, the need for local production facilities became apparent. In 1970, The Hershey Company began producing Kit Kat bars in the United States, and in 1973, Nestle opened a production facility in Japan.

Today, Kit Kat bars are manufactured in several countries around the world, including Australia, Canada, Germany, Japan, Malaysia, and the United Kingdom. The brand’s global success can be attributed in part to its ability to adapt to local tastes and preferences, as well as its commitment to quality and consistency across all markets.

Product Evolution

Variations and Flavors

Over the years, Kit Kat Bars have undergone numerous changes in terms of variations and flavors. In 1988, Nestle introduced the first white chocolate Kit Kat Bar in the United Kingdom, which became an instant hit. Later, the company also introduced the dark chocolate and milk chocolate varieties. In 1996, the company launched the Kit Kat Chunky, which was a thicker version of the classic Kit Kat Bar.

In 2000, the company launched the Kit Kat Senses, which were bite-sized chocolates with a wafer center, covered in milk chocolate. Later, the company also introduced the Kit Kat Pop Chocs, which were small balls of chocolate with a crispy center. In 2019, the company launched the Kit Kat Duos, which featured two flavors in one bar.

Packaging Changes

Over the years, Kit Kat Bars have also undergone changes in terms of packaging. In the 1930s, the bars were sold in boxes, which were later replaced by foil wrappers. In the 1950s, the company introduced the iconic red and white packaging, which is still used today.

In 2006, the company introduced the resealable packaging for the Kit Kat Chunky, which allowed consumers to save some for later. In 2010, the company launched the Kit Kat Senses in a resealable bag, which made it easier to share with friends and family.

Special Editions

Kit Kat Bars have also been released in special editions over the years. In 2005, the company launched the Kit Kat Green Tea in Japan, which became a popular flavor. In 2010, the company introduced the Kit Kat Chunky Peanut Butter, which was a limited edition flavor.

In 2016, the company launched the Kit Kat Chocolatory, which was a boutique store that allowed customers to create their own Kit Kat Bars with unique flavors and designs. The store was initially opened in Japan and has since expanded to other countries.

Marketing and Advertising

Iconic Campaigns

Kit Kat has had some of the most memorable advertising campaigns in the confectionery industry. The brand’s “Have a break, have a Kit Kat” slogan has been used in various forms since the late 1950s and has become synonymous with the brand. In 2016, the brand launched a new campaign featuring the slogan “Snap out of it” promoting the idea that a Kit Kat can help people take a break and refocus.

Celebrity Endorsements

Kit Kat has also leveraged celebrity endorsements in its advertising campaigns. In 2019, the brand partnered with K-Pop group BTS for a limited edition Kit Kat bar in South Korea. The group also appeared in a commercial for the brand. Other celebrities who have endorsed Kit Kat include tennis player Andy Murray and comedian Rowan Atkinson.

Social Media Presence

Kit Kat has a strong social media presence with a verified account on various platforms including Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. The brand uses its social media accounts to engage with customers and promote new products and campaigns. Kit Kat also runs social media contests and giveaways to increase engagement with its audience.

Overall, Kit Kat’s marketing and advertising efforts have helped the brand become one of the most recognized and beloved confectionery brands worldwide.

Cultural Impact

In Popular Culture

Kit Kat bars have become a ubiquitous part of popular culture. They have been referenced in numerous television shows, movies, and songs over the years. For example, in the popular television show “Friends,” Joey Tribbiani famously declares that he’s “not even sorry” for eating Rachel’s Kit Kat bar. This scene became so iconic that Kit Kat even released a limited edition bar with the words “I’m not even sorry” printed on the packaging.

Consumer Trends

The popularity of Kit Kat bars has also led to the creation of numerous spin-off products. In recent years, Kit Kat has released a variety of new and seasonal flavors, including green tea, strawberry, and pumpkin pie. These limited edition flavors have become highly sought after by consumers, with some even being sold on the secondary market for exorbitant prices.

Collectibles and Merchandise

The popularity of Kit Kat bars has also led to a thriving market for collectibles and merchandise related to the brand. From t-shirts and hats to keychains and phone cases, there is no shortage of merchandise available for fans of the iconic candy. In addition, Kit Kat has released a number of limited edition collectible tins and boxes over the years, which have become highly sought after by collectors.

Economic Aspects

Sales and Revenue

Kit Kat bars have been a commercial success since their introduction in the 1930s. According to a report by Nestle, the brand generates over $2 billion in annual revenue worldwide. In the United States, Kit Kat bars are produced under license by the H.B. Reese Candy Company, a division of the Hershey Company. In 2020, Kit Kat was the fourth best-selling chocolate candy brand in the United States, with over $1 billion in sales.

The popularity of Kit Kat bars can be attributed to their affordability, accessibility, and unique taste. The brand has also been successful in introducing new flavors and limited editions, such as the green tea flavor in Japan and the pumpkin pie flavor in the United States, to keep up with changing consumer preferences.

Market Competition

Kit Kat bars face stiff competition from other chocolate candy brands such as Snickers, Twix, and Hershey’s. However, the brand has managed to maintain its market share through effective marketing strategies and product innovation. Kit Kat bars are often marketed as a snack that can be easily shared, which has helped to increase their appeal among consumers.

In recent years, Nestle has also focused on expanding the brand’s presence in emerging markets such as India and China, where there is a growing demand for confectionery products. The company has introduced new flavors and packaging to cater to local tastes and preferences. Overall, Kit Kat bars remain a popular choice among consumers and a profitable product for Nestle.

Manufacturing Process

Ingredients Sourcing

Kit Kat bars are made with a combination of high-quality ingredients. The main components of Kit Kat bars are chocolate, wafer, and milk. Nestle sources cocoa from various countries including West Africa, Ecuador, and Venezuela. The company claims to use only sustainable cocoa beans. The wafer used in Kit Kat bars is made from wheat flour, sugar, and yeast. The milk used in Kit Kat bars is sourced from cows that are not treated with artificial growth hormones.

Production Techniques

The production of Kit Kat bars involves several steps. First, the cocoa beans are roasted and ground into a fine powder. The powder is then mixed with sugar, milk, and other ingredients to create the chocolate. The chocolate is then poured into molds to create the outer layer of the Kit Kat bar.

The wafer is made separately by mixing flour, sugar, yeast, and other ingredients. The mixture is rolled out and cut into the desired shape. The wafer is then baked in an oven until it is crispy.

Finally, the chocolate-coated wafers are assembled and packaged. The bars are cooled to set the chocolate and then wrapped in foil. The final product is then ready for distribution to stores.

Overall, the manufacturing process of Kit Kat bars involves a combination of high-quality ingredients and precise production techniques. The result is a delicious and popular candy bar enjoyed by people all over the world.

Nutritional Information

Kit Kat bars are a delicious treat that can be enjoyed by people of all ages. They are made of layers of crispy wafers and smooth milk chocolate, which makes them a perfect snack for anyone who loves chocolate. However, it’s important to keep in mind that Kit Kat bars are not the healthiest snack option out there.

A standard Kit Kat bar contains 218 calories, 11 grams of fat, 27 grams of carbohydrates, and 20 grams of sugar. It also contains less than 1 gram of dietary fiber and 2.7 grams of protein. While the protein content is not very high, it’s still better than other candy bars that contain little to no protein.

If you’re watching your sugar intake, it’s important to be mindful of how many Kit Kat bars you consume. One bar contains 20 grams of sugar, which is almost half of the recommended daily intake of sugar for an adult. It’s also important to note that Kit Kat bars contain no vitamins or minerals, so they should be consumed in moderation.

Overall, Kit Kat bars are a tasty treat that can be enjoyed in moderation. However, they should not be relied upon as a source of nutrition, and should be consumed as an occasional indulgence rather than a regular snack.

Sustainability and Ethics

Environmental Initiatives

Kit Kat has made a commitment to sustainability by pledging to become carbon neutral by 2025. The company has taken significant steps to reduce its carbon footprint, including investing in renewable energy sources and improving energy efficiency in its factories. In addition, Kit Kat has implemented a recycling program to reduce waste and promote the use of recycled materials.

Social Responsibility

Kit Kat is committed to social responsibility and has taken steps to promote fair labor practices and ethical sourcing. The company has implemented a program to ensure that all cocoa used in its products is sourced from suppliers who adhere to strict ethical and environmental standards. Kit Kat also supports local communities by investing in education and health initiatives.

Overall, Kit Kat’s commitment to sustainability and social responsibility demonstrates the company’s dedication to making a positive impact on the world. By prioritizing environmental and social initiatives, Kit Kat is setting an example for other companies to follow and working towards a more sustainable future.